Annual Meeting Schedule & Sessions

  • Schedule of Events

    The schedule provided is a tentative schedule. Once the Annual Meeting begins, any changes that occur will be updated in the CACRAO mobile app. 


      12/3/23 9:00-11:00am Pre-Conference Workshops
      12/3/23 11:00-11:45am First-Time Attendee Session
      12/3/23 12:00-2:00pm Opening Keynote & Recognition Luncheon
      12/3/23 2:00-2:45pm Breakout Sessions A
      12/3/23 3:00-3:30pm Corporate Partner Break
      12/3/23 3:30-4:15pm Breakout Sessions B
      12/3/23 4:15-5:15pm Mix and Mingle with Corporate Partners
      12/3/23 6:00-10:00pm Sunday Night Event - Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center
      12/3/23 9:00-11:00pm Hospitality Room
      12/4/23 7:30-8:30am Breakfast Birds of a Feather
      12/4/23 8:30-9:15am Breakout Sessions C
      12/4/23 9:30-10:00am Corporate Partner Break
      12/4/23 10:00-10:45am Breakout Sessions D
      12/4/23 11:00-11:45am Breakout Sessions E
      12/4/23 12:00-2:00pm Lunch (On your own)
      12/4/23 2:00-3:30pm Plenary Speaker
      12/4/23 3:30-4:00pm Corporate Partner Break
      12/4/23 4:00-5:00pm Breakout Sessions - Forums
      12/4/23 5:15-6:15pm President's Reception (Invite Only)
      12/4/23 6:30-9:30pm Big Event - Welcome to the Oscars! (Wear your best formal attire)
      12/4/23 9:30-11:00pm Hospitality Room
      12/5/23 8:30-9:15am Breakout Sessions G
      12/5/23 9:30-10:15am Breakout Sessions H
      12/5/23 10:15-11:00am Break (Hotel checkout time)
      12/5/23 11:00am-12:00pm Breakout Sessions I
      12/5/23 12:00-2:00pm Closing Luncheon & Business Meeting
  • List of Sessions

    The following is a list of approved sessions for the Annual Meeting. The list of sessions is subject to change. Any changes to the sessions once the Annual Meeting has begun will be updated within the CACRAO mobile app. 


      SafeZone for CACRAO (part III)   This program is designed to introduce, explore, and engage with topics impacting the LGBTQ+ community using the SafeZone Project and additional resources. This workshop is a three-hour session and is strongly recommended that attendees participate for the duration of the workshop (breaks will be provided). There are two desired outcomes: 1) empower higher education professionals with the knowledge and resources to be considered a safe person for students and allies to connect with and 2) identify gaps of inequities that potentially exist in our enrollment practices. Workshop completion will be recognized with a visible token of support you may keep and display at your choosing. This workshop will take place prior to the official start of the annual meeting.   Admissions Professionals, Registrar Professionals, Operations Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      Degree Works, Degree Plans   DegreeWorks Degree Plans are an essential tool for students who are pursuing a degree. It provides a clear and concise roadmap of the courses needed to complete their program of study. With DegreeWorks, students can easily track their progress toward graduation and stay on top of the requirements needed to obtain their diploma. This session will cover the benefits of using DegreeWorks Degree Plans, how to access them, and how to interpret the information provided. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to utilize DegreeWorks to make informed decisions about their academic journey.   Registrar Professionals, Operations Professionals
      What two things go together like peanut butter and jelly? Admissions Operations & Recruitment   Come join App State as we walk you through the process of how to build a partnership with Admissions Operations & Recruitment. We will outline tips and tricks of how to build your team, use technology to hold ourselves accountable and share in the responsibility and ownership. We hope that you will leave our session with ideas of how you can create this partnership at your institution.   Admissions Professionals, Operations Professionals
      Personalized Marketing Yielded Highest Enrollment in a Decade: the Artful Science of Student Recruitment and Enrollment   Recruitment. Enrollment. Retention.These remain the greatest challenges for higher education institutions –even more so for HBCUs. Oftentimes we find the effects of these challenges are a direct result from the following contributors: inconsistent/unhelpful communication, small teams with limited resources, and an unclear value proposition. II Discover trategic solutions to overcome challenges•51% Increase in year-over-year completed applications•28% Boost in paid deposits within 1 year•37% Growth in overall yieldNorth Carolina Central University saw record enrollment numbers, including a boost in submitted applications, completed applications, paid deposits, and enrolled students – making it the highest number of incoming enrollments in 10+ years.What factors helped to see the results shift?Prospective students require a more personal, authentic approach to higher education recruitment. In this session, seasoned marketing experts and co-founders of an integrated marketing agency, Stratagon, Inc., will showcase actionable insights leading to results and uncover the secrets to building a recruitment and enrollment strategy that you can adapt to your ideal prospective student. KEY TAKEAWAYS•Target: Strategically draw in prospective students and their parents•Personalize: Build an authentic student journey around multi-channel touchpoints•Segment: Identify and interact based upon data intelligence, funnel stages and timelines•Connect: Activate in-person and online events to introduce students and faculty   Admissions Professionals
      Student Workers – Supporting their needs while providing them professional development opportunities   Over the last five years, we had six student workers that became employed by our office and stayed until they graduated from Western Carolina University. We believe that there were practices that we used that helped reduce the turnover rate and maintain the office culture that we try to cultivate. The university environment lends itself to a plethora of opportunities to employee student workers for different projects or tasks. There are many considerations when hiring a student worker and ensuring their success both within the office environment and the university. We want student workers to leave our team with a positive experience and a sense of accomplishment. By creating an environment that not only values the skills of the student worker but understands the expectations and pressures of being a student, we aim to help our student workers learn transferable skills, find balance between life and work, and develop interpersonal and professional skills.   Admissions Professionals, Registrar Professionals
      Efficiently Expanding Engagement   How to efficiently expand your campus engagement with your recruitment and marketing teams. Over the past few years, HCC has gone on a journey from siloed strategies into a brave new world of multi-departmental collaboration and macro community engagement. Learn how you can work with your college departments to find deeper synergy through efficiently expanding your engagement across your marketing and recruiting teams.   Admissions Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      ¿Comprendes, Mendes? Strategies to Reach and Engage Spanish-Speaking Families in the Recruitment Process   Best practices in working with and recruiting Latine students should have a familial component - parents and families overall are a big part of the equation and the decision to attend college. The Latine population in the South is still growing, still new, and still largely Spanish-speaking. Exploring current practices and wishlist items within NC State Admissions, let's discuss ways to maximize recruitment efforts to include Spanish-speaking families.   Admissions Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      Collaborating for Success: Bridging the Transition from Undergraduate to Graduate Study   Early entry is a great way to recruit undergraduate students into graduate programs. In this session we will share how the Office of the Registrar and the Graduate School collaborate to manage early entry programs at UNC Charlotte. We will discuss how Early Entry programs work at our university and how we manage the process using Banner and DegreeWorks. We will also outline some of the challenges we faced along the way.   Registrar Professionals
      Employee Engagement and Retention Strategies Within Enrollment Management   This is a challenging time for managers in enrollment management. Coupled with their daily roles, many are facing a never-ending cycle of reskilling and recruiting for their teams. Join this session to learn more about how to keep your team members engaged in their work and pick up pragmatic tips on how to retain them within your organization.   Admissions Professionals
      Cultivating Brighter Futures in the Carolinas through STEM Excellence: Partnering with NCSSM and SCGSSM to Find the Best STEM Students   This session will be two-fold, as it will provide opportunities for partnering with NCSSM and SCGSSM to elevate and support North and South Carolina colleges to identify high-achieving, motivated students to enroll in their institutions. Additionally, the session will elucidate who we are and how we can set students up for successful transition to college and be at the forefront of change for the betterment of society.   Admissions Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      Regional Round Table   An opportunity for regionals to come together and share best practices. Thinking about becoming a regional? Come learn what a day in the life of a regional looks like. Do you supervise regional staff? Let's talk about how you can best support your team. Come ready to discuss: What's working at your institution? What's not? How can we support each other?   Admissions Professionals
      Asian Americans and the Essence of Inclusivity: Understanding the ‘Model Minority Myth'   The reversal of affirmative action has pitted Asian Americans against other minorities and in general, will ultimately impact admissions processes for not just selective colleges but for non-selective colleges as well. Colleges are at risk of losing underrepresented students, experiencing changes in hiring practices, and having less diverse student bodies due to the fear of rejection or being judged from confirmation bias, and less prioritization on recruitment related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is often suggested that Asian Americans are immune to the effects of discrimination due to their high-achieving nature and focus on STEM fields. However, this kind of thinking can be harmful by perpetuating stereotypes and treating them as a monolithic group. For many Asian Americans who struggle with issues like poverty and insufficient access to high-quality education, affirmative action can be helpful. Southeast Asian Americans experience poverty rates that are higher than the national norm, making income gaps among Asian American communities the widest of all racial groups. Thus, the goal of the presentation is to dissect the model minority myth, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of Asian American students as individuals with unique stories: this will contribute to a more inclusive and empathetic college environment, not only in the admissions process but also in student affairs.   Admissions Professionals
      "Honorable Eagle Alumni Recruiting Team (H.E.A.R.T) ”   The Honorable Eagle Alumni Recruiting Team We developed this training with our alumni, current students, administrators, faculty and staff in mind so that they will feel comfortable and confident about the most recent admissions initiatives when promoting NCCU to prospective students and families. Training topics: Popular programs, admissions, financial aid, testing, campus life, campus visits, special events, and more! We offer a 90-minute remote training session requiring all participates to pass a post-training quiz to become certified. Data driven outcomes that show how alumni play a key role in meeting out admissions and enrollment objectives.   Admissions Professionals
      Transfer 101: Tips & Tricks for Working with Transfer Students   The goal of this session is to equip new admission professionals with the knowledge necessary to work with transfer and adult students. Topics covered will include information about the growing need for non-traditional student opportunities, transfer and dual enrollment credits, transfer application reading, and differences between the first-year and transfer enrollment process. Following this session, we hope that admission counselors will be more confident working with students from various student populations!   Admissions Professionals
      Everyone Is So Nice Here! - How Positivity Shapes the College Admissions Process   As admissions counselors, we strive to provide an exceptional experience for prospective students and their families while also managing the pressure of meeting enrollment targets. In this demanding environment, positivity can be used as a powerful tool that not only transforms the admissions process but also protect us from burnout. This presentation would discuss the significant impact of positivity in college admissions and explore how it can elevate the entire admissions journey, from applicant engagement to decision-making.   Admissions Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      When Marketing and Admission Are Great Partners   Emory & Henry College marketing and admission staff members have met for the past five years to integrate all messaging and communications around the strategics initiatives of the college. From communication flow drip campaigns to digital marketing; to letters and academic fliers; from Instagram to videos; the team works in lock step with messaging and goals. Enrollment has grown more than 30% for first year classes since 2021 and in 2023 the overall number of all undergraduates is at 1,100 students - the largest since 2004 and up 2% over last year; with a 2% gain in retention as well. Come sit at the table with team leaders and their VP to see how the process works.   Admissions Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      Mastering Excel   This session will cover everything from basic tips and tricks to more advanced functions in Excel, such as vlookup, to help minimize effort and maximize results. Participants are welcome to bring their laptops to apply these tips to existing documents.   Registrar Professionals
      The Importance of Pre-College Programs   The college application process can be an enigma. From varying dates and deadlines to learning the numerous decision-release terminologies, students and parents alike can become overwhelmed. As admissions professionals, it is important to reach students where they are and provide assistance to break down the barriers to higher education. Pre-College programs are amazing ways to assist students, not just at the time of filling out an application, but hopefully well before so that we can ease this process as much as possible. Exposing students to the admissions process early can help them to adequately plan their remaining years of high school and set themselves up best for success. Whether through summer programs, virtual sessions, or print materials, it is important for institutions of Higher Education to provide this resource for students and to alleviate the mystery that shrouds the college application process.   Admissions Professionals
      IYKYK: School/College Counselors Relationships Make the Difference   This session is to learn the value of the relationship between school/college counselors and admissions staff. You’ll leave knowing why it’s important and some steps on how to build them.   Admissions Professionals
      4 Ways to Get More Diverse Students to Apply & Enroll in Your School   This high energy and high content presentation provides collegiate registrars and admissions officers with four practical strategies to increase diversity among their applicant pool and student body. Topics covered in this presentation include targeted recruitment efforts, holistic admissions practices, creative initiatives, and building relationships with diverse communities. Attendees will leave with actionable steps to attract and enroll a more diverse group of students which include:- How to show you appreciate diversity without ‘appropriating’ diversity.- The #1 secret to make underrepresented students feel welcome.- How to get students creatively involved in initiatives.   Admissions Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      StriveScan Updates   What’s next for StriveScan and our CACRAO partnership? Join the StriveScan team as we talk through the exciting new ways that we’re supporting CACRAO’s Ed-Op Calendar and debrief on this fall’s circuit. Have something on your StriveScan wish list? We’d love to hear it during the discussion!   Admissions Professionals, Operations Professionals
      Getting Things Done (Without Losing Your Mind)   We all have a lot on our plates and are trying to juggle multiple responsibilities in a way that demonstrates competence and care. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you are getting the important things accomplished without worrying about what’s slipping through the cracks? Come discuss with other professionals ways to organize your work and life to provide confidence and peace of mind.   Admissions Professionals, Registrar Professionals, Operations Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      They Don't Even Go Here (Anymore)!   Are you a recent graduate excited to return to your alma mater and embark on a rewarding career in admissions? Transitioning from being a student to becoming a professional staff member at your former educational institution may seem like a dream come true, but it comes with its unique set of challenges. In this interactive presentation, we will explore the world of college admissions as a young professional and discuss the intricacies of working for your alma mater.   Admissions Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      Competency-Based Education: Rewarding Students for What They Know   Competency-based education (CBE), while not new to higher education is gaining interest and traction. With this increase in interest, there is also an increase in questions about the concept. In this session we will focus on what CBE is, how it works, how it benefits students, anticipated outcomes and maneuvering through accreditation. Attendees can anticipate leaving the session with a solid understanding of CBE and its potential impact on their institution.   Admissions Professionals, Registrar Professionals, Operations Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      The Better FAFSA and Student Recruitment   Join us for an engaging professional development session tailored exclusively for admissions professionals! Learn more about the intricacies of the upcoming “Better FAFSA”, the impact of these changes on students and families, and the FREE tools and resources you can use to confidently advise prospective students. The session will include a discussion of new terminology, the updated FAFSA process, and the eligibility criteria for various types of financial aid.   Admissions Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      Not Your Average PDF: Creating Forms and Workflows with Kuali Build   Transition current paper forms using Kuali Build to create a more student centric experience and streamline faculty and administrative processes. Automation saves time and resources and facilitates a positive end user experience.   Registrar Professionals, Operations Professionals
      Meeting Students Where They're At - Literally: Working strategically within your territory   Gen Z students value genuine connections when making their college decision, but how can we do this strategically? Join us to learn how we enacted low-lift yield strategies and events in our rural territories, while building genuine connections with students on the other side of the state. We’ll share tips and tricks from our experience that will help you engage with your students while staying true to your school and territory. Whether it be virtual, hybrid or fully in person, we’ll cover it all!   Admissions Professionals
      Career Transitions   This session will be an interactive discussion concerning the variety of career transitions professionals encounter. Discussion will be had regarding the range of career transitions we go through. What are the challenges facing a promotion? How do I transition to a new university? What would it be like to work for another department/area? How will my work/life balance be impacted? What's it like to be a remote employee? How do I create an office space that's comfortable for 40+ hours a week? Whether you're a brand new professional or in the middle of your career, you'll continually experience transitions that will challenge you professionally. Come join our discussion about these transitions!   Admissions Professionals, Registrar Professionals, Operations Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      Creating Professional Development Plans for your Registrar's Office Staff   This session will provide helpful information in planning and implementing professional development plans for Registrar's Office staff at all levels. It will address succession planning and assessment.   Registrar Professionals, Operations Professionals
      Preparing for the Drive Ahead: Fall Travel is over, but how do you keep your motivation?   You've spent more hours than you can probably count behind the wheel of a car traveling to App Days, CACRAO fairs, private visits, etc.,. Now that the fall travel season is over, what is next for you in your current role? How do you keep your motivation for the “drive” ahead? In this session, participants will engage in discussion about how to replenish your motivation after a long travel season, unpacking your ideal "self-care suitcase" and what you may be looking forward to as you prepare for the next steps of your career.   Admissions Professionals
      Unleashing Student Brilliance: Crafting Future-Ready Pathways with Alternative Credentials   So your institution awards degrees… but now what? As institutions look for ways to stay ahead of the curve and increase student retention, alternative credentials are becoming an innovative way to advance professional development and skills-based learning opportunities for students. This session will cover Elon University’s creation of an emerging digital badging program, improvement of the Elon Visual Experiential Transcript, and launch of a new electronic pennant. These alternative credentials provide an increased opportunity for innovative articulation of student achievements, skills, and engaged learning beyond conventional records of academic completion. Join us for a facilitated discussion about redefining how student success is recognized and shared across institutions. Come ready to share your engaging examples, real world outcomes, and interactive insights!   Admissions Professionals, Registrar Professionals, Operations Professionals
      Past, Present, Future: Looking back to where we were to where we hope to go   With a combined 20 years of experience within an Admissions Office, we will be talking about where we started, to where we are now, to where we hope to land in the future. We hope to provide insightful tips and tricks on our "fails" and successes throughout the years, to help others learn and grow from our mistakes and accomplishments. We hope to provide an open and engaging session for all to laugh, grow, and challenge themselves to better themselves in this profession.   Admissions Professionals
      Pathway to CACRAO Leadership   CACRAO is a peer-led organization and is always a great space to expand your professional skill set. This session is designed to introduce the different paths to serve in our organization and develop your leadership skills. Meet the current and many past presidents in this panel discussion on how to get involved and lead. The future of CACRAO needs YOU to continue to improve and lead with innovation in the years to come.   Admissions Professionals, Registrar Professionals, Operations Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      Discussing cost: Simple Strategies to Reassure Families of Your Institution’s Value.   Many students and families will consider financing a portion of their college education, but what resources are available to help you have an honest discussion about their investment? In this session, you will learn how to communicate value beyond price, how families share in the responsibility to pay for education and building confidence to discuss payment strategies for student success.   Admissions Professionals
  • Pre-Conference Workshops

    The following is a list of approved pre-conference workshops for the Annual Meeting. Prior registration for these workshops is required. Information about registration will be emailed prior to the Annual Meeting. 


      SafeZone for CACRAO (part I and II)   This program is designed to introduce, explore, and engage with topics impacting the LGBTQ+ community using the SafeZone Project and additional resources. This workshop is a three-hour session and is strongly recommended that attendees participate for the duration of the workshop (breaks will be provided). There are two desired outcomes: 1) empower higher education professionals with the knowledge and resources to be considered a safe person for students and allies to connect with and 2) identify gaps of inequities that potentially exist in our enrollment practices. Workshop completion will be recognized with a visible token of support you may keep and display at your choosing. This workshop will take place prior to the official start of the annual meeting.   Admissions Professionals, Registrar Professionals, Operations Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
      Recruitment Training - Preparing New Professionals for the Profession   This session will focus on the training program that USCB has implemented to prepare new recruiters/counselors for their roles. Including preparing for travel, the admissions funnel, making connections with counselors, and creating a team.   Admissions Professionals
      The Customer Isn’t Always Right   Customer service is the cornerstone of any office that works with external individuals. However, far too often we are taught that the customer is always right. This mindset is detrimental to being able to provide effective customer service to all of your customers. This active workshop is going to explore the evolution of customer service, the impact that internal and external factors can have on the service that you are able to provide to your current and future customers, and ways to improve the office mindset and structure regarding customer service.   Admissions Professionals, Registrar Professionals, Operations Professionals, Campus Visit Professionals
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